Former AFL footballer Mark Mickan coming to Tumby

VISITING: Mark Mickan will come to Tumby Bay to share his journey with Parkinson's disease. Photo: supplied
VISITING: Mark Mickan will come to Tumby Bay to share his journey with Parkinson's disease. Photo: supplied

The Eyre Peninsula community will have the chance to hear the story of a South Australian football legend's battle with Parkinson's disease while also supporting local Parkinson's sufferers.

The Tumby Bay Parkinson's Support Group has invited South Australian Football Hall of Famer Mark Mickan to speak at the Tumby Bay Hotel on July 8.

Mr Mickan, whose achievements included first captain of the Brisbane Bears, winning Adelaide's first best and fairest award in 1991 and coaching West Adelaide's 2015 premiership side.

He said he had met support group leader Natasha Clark previously and had talked about him coming to share his story on the Eyre Peninsula.

"I have the same condition as 80,000 Australians and 8000 people in South Australia have it," he said.

"It's important to share the things you can do to control the symptoms."

Mr Mickan said he was initially diagnosed with depression in September 2016, which had a strong link with Parkinson's disease and he also had a tremor identified in his right hand which led to the full diagnosis.

However Mr Mickan has continued to live a functional life, which included contributing his coaching skills at St Michael's College in Adelaide.

"You can still function living with Parkinson's, everyone's got their own form of Parkinson's and everyone's got their own story," he said.

As well as his session at the Tumby Bay Hotel at 8pm Mr Mickan will meet with members of the support group for lunch earlier in the day.

Mrs Clark said it would be good to hear from Mr Mickan and understand what people with Parkinson's disease experienced, as those in the support group who lived with the disease understood.

"We're like a big family because you can tell people about it but no one understands until you go through it yourself," she said.

"People say 'you look really well' but don't know the effort to put on a face to look really well, but when we get together we don't need to put on that face."

Tickets are $20 per person and available at the venue with all proceeds to go back into the support group.

Group secretary Anne Hall said events like this gave an opportunity to support members with their needs.

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